It’s Not Okay

Ruby The past 10 or so days have proved enormously instructive for me.  They’ve provided the kind of instruction I hear tell of from my parents’ days in Catholic school in the 50s and 60s, when one of the nuns would slap a student or turn from a sweet, soft-spoken angel of a teacher into the fires of hell epitomized, without raising anything but her voice. Continue reading

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Gathering up the ocean in my arms

WeeGeeWhen Ruby asked me if I’d like to contribute to Canvas I was excited. As in really excited. As in ‘I’m a bit bouncy and excited’ excited. I bounced around for a bit, being all excited and then it started to dawn on me that if I wanted to write something for Canvas I’d actually have to sit down and write something. If I’m honest I sat down to try and write something quite a few times. I’ve always been a perfectionist. And I’ve always been struck by the irony that when you’re a perfectionist there is no such thing as perfection. Continue reading

Ruby’s Tropical Depression

RubyHello, dearest readers.

I have to do something I never anticipated having to do, so forgive me if I am a bit clumsy about it.  As you may remember from my last Canvas post, I have been fighting the onset of a depressive episode for some time.  Unfortunately, it is a fight which I lost, and I have slipped into a very severe depressive state.  It’s much more acute a situation than I have had to deal with in a long time.

Another thing that you may or may not recall is that I cannot take any medication for this.  Just a few months ago, I wrote in another post: Continue reading

New place, new luck

the qiuet borderlineHello everyone,

I wish that I could have posted earlier to speak with all you and keep updated…

But here I am.

After seven years of living abroad and three of those being very sick, I have returned to England to see how it goes here starting afresh again. I have been back for just over a week. Continue reading

When You Reach The End Of The Road

Ruby

It finally happened.  Officially, I mean.  I’ve reached the end of the line.  After six-and-a-half years of extremely intensive psychiatric treatment, the first fiveish with an incredibly bright, creative, thinking-outside-of-the-box younger doc; the last year-plus with a man long experienced in the mood disorder game (not to mention numerous consults along the way), it has been made manifest.

Continue reading

Helping to Break Stigma

SailorWhen I received the job offer a few weeks ago I thought it over for a few days before excitedly accepting. My new manager arranged that she would send me some paperwork to fill out, and the next week we would meet so I could have a look around one of the branch practices I would be working in.

When I’d quit my previous job a few weeks ago I never expected to land on my feet. My parents were terrified that I had no long term prospects and I was just going to be a temp nurse. Continue reading

Social Rhythm Therapy

DeeDee newInterpersonal and social rhythm therapy (ISRT) is a type of behavioral therapy designed specifically for bipolar disorder. As Wikipedia tells us, it’s:

used to treat the disruption in circadian rhythms that is related to bipolar disorder. ISRT provides a biopsychosocial model for bipolar disorder and recognizes that the illness cannot be fully treated with medication alone, although it is biologically based. It postulates that stressful events, disruptions in circadian rhythms and personal relationships, and conflicts arising out of difficulty in social adjustment often lead to relapses.

Continue reading

The Cost of Mental Health

MondayMaintaining your mental health is expensive. Medicine is expensive. Many of the antidepressants are generic now, but still cost about $1/pill without insurance. Lithium is much cheaper at 30 cents a pill. Prices on anxiety meds vary depending on if they are generic or not. But the antipsychotics… woah! I take Geodon, which recently went generic, and without insurance the cost is $379/month! Fortunately I only have to pay $76 because I have insurance. Even Lamictal runs $170/month generic. These are only some prescription prices. What do you pay in supplements that aren’t covered by insurance? Continue reading